Eminem is one of the most successful mainstream rappers of all time, but his beginnings were humble, hustling as part of the battle rap circuit in Detroit. Some dramatization aside, that’s what 8 Mile was about. It’s been a long time since the movie came out in 2002, so if you were thinking Eminem was overdue for another hip-hop movie, worry no more: He’s a producer on the upcoming satirical battle rap movie Bodied.
The film is directed by Joseph Kahn, who is best known for directing music videos for everybody from Dr. Dre to U2 to Taylor Swift (and a handful of Eminem videos as well). Based on the trailer, above, the movie addresses the touchy subject of race in hip-hop through the lens of a white 20-something who tries to enter the world of battle rap. The film’s logline: “A progressive graduate student finds success and sparks outrage when his interest in battle rap as a thesis subject becomes a competitive obsession.”
It seems like that’s some tough ground to navigate, but at least Kahn has historically been very open to talking about race. It’s a frequent topic on his Twitter page, and in 2006, the Korean-American director posted about Bodied, “I love my cast on #BODIED. Every single beautiful person. I would adopt all of them. Except Asians eat their pets. No bueno.”
The good news is that it appears the movie makes an effort to stay true to the scene it’s trying to depict. Aside from a cast that includes Anthony Michael Hall, Debra Wilson, Charlamagne tha God, Alter Perez, Rory Uphold, Jackie Long, Callum Worthy, and Shoniqua Shanda, esteemed battle rappers like Loaded Lux, Dizaster, Dumbfoundead, and Hollow Da Don are also involved.
The movie is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Watch the trailer above.